For disclosure, I am a huge Canadian football fan. All levels inc Jr, CIS and of course CFL. I have no rooting interest, just love football.
I read many articles and forum posts from all over the country concerning the strong Western teams compared to the Eastern teams. Some called for one division. Some called for a second crossover team.
Randy Ambrose, please don’t ever entertain that. The CFL must me east vs west. Should Saskatchewan win, the interest in an all west Grey Cup will wane in Eastern Canada.
I remember the Calgary-Winnipeg Grey Cup. The public in the East had no interest.
No other major league has even one crossover. The NHL is always East vs West. NBA is the same. MLB is AL vs NL. And NFL is AFC vs NFC.No crossovers. They have wild cards or a move from one division to another as in the NHL. But they don’t crossover from East to West or vise. versa.
East West Grey Cup is essential to the future of the CFL.
Folks in the west may be surprised to see this. But the best team in the league to end the season was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. They were 6-4 and lost very close games. They easily should have been 8-2 or 9-1. Lost in OT to Tor when they were leading by two TDS. Lost on last play of game to Calgary and Ottawa.
Here are the standings since Labour Day
Had there been no crossover Hamilton would have made the playoffs.
I work in Southen Ontario and there was virtually no talk of the Sask-Ott game all week.
An Ott-Tor or Ham-Tor would generate much more interest next week in the Eastern Final.
In closing, Mr Ambrosie, let's get a 5th Eastern team asap. Play out of Laval stadium in the near future. Talk with the Irvings in the Maritimes,etc. Something needs done to preserve the traditional East vs West Gret Cup!!!!
Sorry -Disagree it hasn't worked for some time and there is little interest except Ottawa in the East . Make the climb for the championship a player challenge not a geographic one .
The leagues just too small .Time to change the league in 2018 .
Ottawa played Grey Cup host to Winnipeg and BC and it was a great game . Toronto hosted Winnipeg and Saskatchewan and it was well attended . Montreal hosted Winnipeg and Calgary it was well attended . Toronto hosted Winnipeg and Calgary and it was a flop but didn't matter who was playing TO was not interested .
You need more teams if they want to continue this format or keep looking for the survival gear and firetrucks . Change is badly needed yesterday .
I doubt you wanted the 6-12 Tigercats 8th place in the play offs over the Riders .You seem more articulate than that . I doubt that the record of the cats getting a chance for the cup over more qualified teams will get you any new followers in the east. That is what the op wants east vs west no matter who has a better record .
It might reduce more fan interest in the end and discredit the league even more .
Killing the East all at once .
Very much like your thoughts, Maple leafs could care less who they meet in Stanley Cup Final!!
Blue Jays would love to be there at the Dance!!!!!! Toronto basketball team would also love to play the finals against Halifax Snoozes. Sorry I meant LA Clippers. Big TEAMS with MONEY want big time players
You might want to check your figures again. Saskatchewan only lost 4 games since Labour Day, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. If you want to make fair comparisons use all the teams last 10 games not just from Labour Day on or use the last 9 games and the Ti-cats are 5-4. Some teams had 2 byes in the first half and some had their 2 byes in the second half of the season. The schedule this year left a lot to be desired, a schedule that favored Hamilton way more than Ottawa and Toronto with games schedules and byes yet both teams had more points than the Ti-Cats. Please quit coloring this season in Ti-Cat colors, they did not deserve to make the playoffs.
You're the one that is "coloring". The Ticat team at the end of the season was very different from the team that existed the week before Labour Day, and if you had actually been following the season, you would know why.
They would have won today, regardless who they played and you know in your heart it's true...
I have watched every game this season, some I turned off like the Mtl - Hamilton game. FYI I have been watching CFL football for over 50 years. I will agree with you that the ti-cats were a different team in the second half, but however the season is 18 games long and wins in the first half of the season is worth 2 pts just like the second half. I just don’t agree with you that the Ti-cats were the best team in the second half, good teams find ways to win the close games not lose them, ie the Calgary game, Sask game. The Riders were 6 -4, Labour Day and on just like the Ti-Cats with wins over Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Montreal, losses to Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. Hamilton with wins over Montreal twice, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and BC and losses to Toronto, Saskatchewan, Calgary and Ottawa. So tell me why Hamilton deserves a playoff spot going 0-8 over Sask who were 4-4 in the first 8 games.
The solution is very simple, put another team in the east.
You say there will be no interest in the GC if a western team makes it through.... Hmm if there is all this concern the answer is quite simple - put another team in the east.
What is the difference in population if we split the entire country into west/east? I'm guessing it isn't very close with the eastern half dwarfing the western half (I could be completely wrong as well), but if so then are we not carrying your load already? and now you want to take away what we worked so hard for.
You want it all for yourself. no problem....support another team and we will all be happy. No one from the west wants to cross over but if they have a better record then what you think we should do, support you instead.... just because. or just how exactly does your sympathy work.
Other sports leagues do have crossovers. If the NHL playoffs were to start today, for example, a Metropolitan division team would crossover and play in the Atlantic division playoff bracket.
The problem the league has now is that it schedules the regular season as if the league were united, but does not treat the playoffs the same way.
My dream solution would be to add a fifth East team, schedule the regular season as if the two divisions actually matter for something (i.e., have East teams play 60-70% of their games against other East teams and have the West do the same), and eliminate the crossover.
Since no 5th team is going to be added soon, they should at least go back to scheduling the regular season as if the divisions matter.
If they find that most fans don't actually care about the divisions anymore (and hence that's why they schedule the regular season as if there were no divisions), then they should also go with one united league for the playoffs.
Divisions would work if both had 5 teams but they don't and won't anytime soon.
One division will make for better, more competitive football. No team will be able to coast into the playoffs and you will get the best 2 teams playing for a truly national championship.
I think football interest in eastern Canada has suffered because of years of non crucial football games played in a tiny division that allows the top 2 teams into the playoffs no matter how poor there record.
I believe that one division actually gives the league a more united national Canadian feel, and feels bigger, rather than as currently setup,
All games will become more relevant to your favorite team since they will directly effect your teams position in the standings and will therefore draw more interest across the entire league.
Good post. If eastern fans want to avoid this current scenario - they can easily get off the couch and make their way down to an Eastern teams games. The west has supported CFL football and the west has earned this. Western fans will compose much of the seating in TO next Sunday, while the division winning home team Argos can't get their fans to.
That's not even remotely fair to say, mainly because two of those six wins were against the bottom feeding Alouettes, and three of those wins were squeakers against Toronto, BC (who missed the playoffs) and Ottawa who were literally the next three worst teams in the league. The only truly telling win was against the Bombers.
They then punctuated their wins, by following them up with losses against two of those teams and loses at home to Calgary and Saskatchewan.
Gotta agree that the TiCats season was lost because the change to June Jones came too late. They were hot and hungry late in the season, something that was not present at any time prior to Jones.
That being said I surely don’t think the players speaking out against management like they have been post season helps anything either. It makes one suspect that some players aren’t being professional in some games and maybe had been mailing it in under Austin?
I stand corrected on Sask. Did the numbers real quick. Yes they had 6 wins along with Ham and Cal.
The NHL does not have a crossover. A Western based team cannot move up to the Eastern Conference. The NHL wants to ensure that they have a Western team playing an Eastern team. It engages the whole country (Thinking US fans here and US TV networks).
I stand by my comment. The Ticats would be in the Grey Cup. I have no doubt. Again no rooting interest. Jones and Phil Lolley turned the Kent Austin mess around almost instantly.
I do agree that a 6-12 team is not the best.
I think we all agree the solution is a 5th team in the East.
Last point I want to make is I truly believe that our great Western fans do not fully appreciate what is happening in the GTA. I know people like to call it the centre of the universe. Well in some ways it is. TV, advertising $$ all start in Toronto.
By potentially having 5 of six teams from the West, it cannot possibly work (at this point in time). Fans here in the East don't embrace the CFL like they do in the West (unfortunately).
And it's not about attendance. Someone mentioned the games would still sell out. Yes likely. But many Grey Cup attendees are repeat Western fans.
To make the CFL work in Toronto it must become relevant. Having 4 teams all West of Ontario in the two division finals would be a disaster. You need the Eastern media engaged.You need the National advertisers knowing that the 14 million people in Ontario may be watching the games. You need the average "Joe" talking at the water cooler.
Don't take this the wrong way, but reality is if Edmonton plays Winnipeg in the Grey Cup, folks on Bay St and Yonge St are just not talking.